Earth Quarantined Book 2
by D.L. Richardson
Genre: Sci-Fi Dystopian Thriller
A new threat is coming.
Earth Arrested follows the story of Kethryn Miller and Neah, twins who didn’t know of each other’s existence. One lived a celebrity lifestyle, the other lived in a hidden underground city. The existence of twins is forbidden under Truce Law, and Neah’s escape from the hidden city brought humanity’s crimes to the attention of the aliens who were keeping Earth under tight control.
In Earth Arrested, the race is on to achieve space travel before the fleet of ships sitting on the edge of our solar system arrives. This fleet contains the Criterion leader, and she is coming to do what the first alien colonists failed to do: destroy all humanity.
Humanity can’t surrender to this new alien occupation. But our fragile planet also can’t take another war. Then there is an important factor that both humans and aliens are forgetting: there is a third side arming themselves for this coming war, and they have already lost everything.
If you like dystopian thrillers that turn conventional ideas about space exploration on their head, stories with twists and turns, and thought-provoking reads, then you’ll enjoy D L Richardson’s Earth Quarantined series.
Neah stopped at the entrance to the prison cells, the dank air filling her nostrils and making her sneeze. She would send the sanitation crew down here to spruce this place up. Everything in the station had a function, and empty cells served no function.
Four sentinels were already waiting for her in the cell block where a cache of weapons had been found a week ago. Real weapons. Not the stun guns and clubs she and the other sentinels used to break up fights. These were rifles, pistols, automatic weapons, laser weapons, blasters, and things she had no idea about the damage they could cause. She had spent a few minutes on her way to the cell block this morning mentally preparing for the discussion with Lucias, one of the High Council Leaders, about turning the entertainment quarters into a shooting range. It wouldn’t take a string of cleverly worded phrases to convince him, just a simple ‘people are coming to kill us’.
The radio on her jacket buzzed. Lucias, as if responding to her innermost thoughts, was shouting down the radio. “Neah. Return to the command room immediately.”
She ignored him. Since she was the other High Council Leader, he didn’t outrank her.
When she got to the cell where Evin stood, a Senior Officer of the station’s security, he had a lazy grin spread over his dark-skinned face. “Isn’t disobeying a direct order considered an act of treason?”
Neah grinned back. “Nah. More like a hostile takeover.”
“Return at once,” Lucias shouted down the radio. “I know what you’re planning and I forbid it. We will not take up arms against—”
She lifted the radio to her lips. “Don’t I get a say in how we run security?”
“All decisions must be agreed upon by both leaders. I have not agreed to you arming the sentinels and planning for a battle.”
She winked at Evin and made a motion with her fingers like a duck quacking and mouthed the words blah, blah, blah. Then her face and tone turned serious. “Hopes and prayers can’t stop what’s coming, Lucias. We need to be armed and ready.”
An alarm sounded, echoing down the corridor from outside.
“A sentencing,” Evin said. “Now?”
“It’s a diversion. He’s trying to get us to leave the cell blocks, then he’ll probably come down here and seal it up while we’re getting everyone assembled.”
She spoke into the radio again. “Lucias. Call off the alarm. Call off the sentencing. We will conduct proper investigations and hold proper trials from now on. No more indwellers will be sacrificed so that the outdwellers may live peaceful lives. You hear me?”
It felt good to yell at someone. The other sentinels flicked gazes between each other as if they expected her to yell at them if they took one step in the opposite direction to where they were headed. Only Evin stood there with a grin on his face.
“Ignore the alarm,” she told the others. “We have work to do.”
She switched off the radio. The alarm that called all the indwellers to the assembly room to witness someone be accused of a crime and sentenced to death was still chiming around the metal walls by the time they lifted the tops off the crates of weapons. She still had no idea how long they’d been down here, or who had stashed them, or who had supplied them. She also didn’t care. A thirsty animal did not ask who put the watering hole in the ground.
Nearby, a door slammed and Neah jumped.
Evin laughed. “What’s got you spooked?”
Neah scowled at him as she thrust an assault rifle at his chest. “I keep waiting for them to attack us. Why haven’t they attacked us yet?”
“Hey. Nobody likes a fight more than me. But the key to winning a fight is being ready. And we’re not ready yet. We’ve had less than a week’s notice.”
“We will be ready for them. We have no choice. They will come.”
They had to. Because if they didn’t, then the indwellers would be forgotten about. Disregarded. Overlooked. Nobodies. They would fade away and nobody who mattered would understand what the indwellers had lost. And Neah wasn’t talking about their rightful place topside. That was a given. She meant the memories of the two hundred indwellers who had been led outside to safety by her twin sister, Kethryn Miller, and whose memories of that glorious day had been wiped by the Ray Bay machines.
Earth Quarantined Book 1
World peace came with rules. We’ve just broken them.
Kethryn Miller is an award-winning actress, destined to rule State Seven of a unified Earth, but nothing will prepare her for the role she’ll take on when a strange woman who shouldn’t be alive turns up in the city, threatening to expose the lies that have kept peace on Earth for 200 years.
In the year 2055, millions of humans were wiped out by a deadly virus. Our desire and need to get off the planet and into space became our highest priority. However, before any ships could be launched, First Contact was made by an alien race called the Criterion. To prevent this deadly virus from getting into space, they placed Earth under quarantine. Then they herded us into cities so they could control our dying population and the planet’s resources. They saved us.
But they also rule over us. And we’ve let them because, for the past three hundred years, they have kept offering us the technology to get into space. Yet we’re still here on this dying planet.
The Criterion are lying to us.
What they don’t know is that we’re lying to them.
“If you like dystopian thrillers that turn conventional ideas about space exploration on their head, stories with twists and turns, and thought-provoking reads, then you’ll enjoy D L Richardson’s first book in the Earth Quarantined series” – BestThrillers.com
Damn world peace. It wasn’t worth her happiness.
Kethryn Miller drained the last of her wine before turning her scornful gaze to the shimmering lights below. City Prime was beautiful at night, yet the millions of lights, in every imaginable color, did little to stop the loneliness settling in.
Far below, lights blinked like neon lovers communicating in code. At least until midnight. After midnight, the power conserves came into effect, and buildings disappeared from the skyline as holo-advertisements and electricity mains shut down. Complete darkness lasted no more than the blink of a neon light; like children afraid of the dark, buildings flickered into life as insomniacs reclaimed the night.
As Kethryn watched over the world from the balcony of the forty-second floor, she wondered what kept her fellow insomniacs awake. She would swap her troubles for theirs any day.
A Criterion ship popped into view. Reflexively, Kethryn took a step back. The Divinity was gold and elliptical with sensor arrays that resembled incandescent roots reaching for the ground. One of a hundred border patrol ships, one for each Earth state, this alien hawk followed a pre-plotted course around the ten cities of State Seven. A citizen could tell time by the patrols. Each noon and midnight, the Divinity floated over City Prime. Each night when it hovered by, Kethryn sensed the co-operatives inside – humans who worked security detail for the Criterions – watching her watching them.
She reached for the bottle of wine on the table and the movement activated the Visual Imaging Device – VID – pulling her attention to the image projected onto the screen. It showed an invitation for the presidential inauguration in two weeks, one she couldn’t avoid since this was her inauguration. Spending her adult life dodging the inevitable now seemed like a waste.
She shifted her gaze from the lights to the full moon that sat to the right of the border ship. Long ago that moon had lured man to reach it. And they had. They lived in permanent habitats in self-imposed seclusion for three months at a time. It granted them little contact with family or friends, and when they returned to Earth they complained of the noise and begged to go back. Their bodies slowly decayed from constantly applying aluminum gel as protection against radiation. Their flesh festered from bedsores that never healed because of the implanted mood-gauging sensors that monitored their vital signs and mental stability. Mooners were a weird lot, and yet she envied them.
She took a sip of wine. Too sweet. It belied her current mood. The quarantine of Earth, placed by the Criterion three centuries ago, should have been lifted by now and the technology to launch a spaceship beyond the end of the Solar System granted. And yet it hadn’t. Why were humans still on Earth? Why had the Criterion not gone home after ridding the planet of the deadly virus? Why did nobody care that mankind’s peace and freedom came with chains?
These were questions to ask a Criterion advocate, and a wry smile tugged at her cheeks that she’d get her chance in two weeks.
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About the Author
D L Richardson writes speculative fiction, which encompasses science fiction, supernatural fiction, and fantasy. She lives in Australia with her husband and dob, and when she’s not writing, she can be found wandering in her yard waging war on weeds, watching back-to-back episodes on Netflix, playing her piano or guitar, curled up on the couch reading a book, or walking the dog.
She is the author of the ‘Welcome to the Apocalypse’ series and ‘The Shivers Novellas’. She also conducts writing workshop and appears at Australian pop culture conventions as few times a year.